The Daily Dirt: How City of Yes density bump works with 485x 

A hearing on the text amendment will be held on Wednesday, possibly until midnight

<p>From left: Mayor of New York City Eric Adams and City Planning Chair Dan Garodnick (Getty)</p>

From left: Mayor of New York City Eric Adams and City Planning Chair Dan Garodnick (Getty)

UAP+485x= 🙂 ? 

That is a hideous looking equation, but there is no denying the chemistry between the affordability requirements of the two programs — at least in some parts of the city. 

I’m referring, of course, to the Universal Affordability Preference, a proposal under the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity Text Amendment, and the replacement to 421a, dubbed 485x.    

UAP would provide developers with a 20 percent density bump, so long as the extra housing is permanently affordable. In this case, that means affordable to tenants whose earnings average out to 60 percent of the area median income. The program would replace the city’s voluntary inclusionary housing program, which similarly provided a density bonus in exchange for affordable housing, but the affordable units could be built offsite. Developers with projects underway or otherwise looking to build affordable units offsite are watching the vesting language around UAP closely. 

Under 485x, projects with more than 150 units that are located in zone A, (south of 96th Street in Manhattan, as well as the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts) or zone B (Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights and Astoria and Queensbridge), must set aside 20 percent of apartments for tenants whose incomes average out to 60 percent AMI. 

So, a developer in those zones may opt for a density bonus in addition to the tax break, given the similar affordability requirements. It remains to be seen if the construction wage and benefit rules for projects of that size in zones A and B will deter developers from building above that 150 unit threshold, though. 

The City Planning Commission will hear testimony on this and the various other proposals contained in the text amendment on Wednesday. So far more than a dozen community boards have recommended approval of the proposal (some with suggested amendments), while more than 30 have recommended rejection. Opposition appears to be largely focused on the text amendment’s end to parking mandates, its legalization of accessory dwelling units and its changes to low-density commercial districts to allow more housing. 

Wednesday is expected to be a long day. I’m told City Planning Commissioners were warned that the 10 a.m. hearing could run until midnight. Be sure to rest up before Wednesday!

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A thing we’ve learned: Bear Mountain Bridge was the first vehicular bridge over the Hudson River south of Albany when it was constructed in November 1924. To commemorate the bridge’s centennial, the state has a number of events planned, Gov. Kathy Hohcul announced Monday. 

Elsewhere in New York…

—NYC is under a heat emergency through Wednesday, Gothamist reports. NYC Emergency Management extended this status to keep cooling centers open across the five boroughs. Potential rain on Wednesday and Thursday may offer some relief from the extreme heat, but it may remain muggy. “We’re gonna stay mired in this warm soupy humid air mass for quite some time,” Jay Engle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service told the news site. 

— The Gateway Development Commission secured $6.8 billion in federal funding for a new tunnel under the Hudson River, Crain’s reports. This is the final piece of the $12 billion in federal money pledged to the project.  

— The Third Avenue bridge got stuck in the open position on Monday because of the heat, NBC New York reports. High temperatures caused the bridge’s steel to expand, and crews of fire boats were on the scene, spraying water from the Harlem River in an attempt to cool the structure down. 

Closing Time 

Residential: The priciest residential sale Monday was $5.5 million for a 2,250-square-foot condominium at 181 East 65th Street in Lenox Hill. 

Commercial: The largest commercial sale of the day was $66.6 million for a portfolio of 14 apartment buildings in Manhattan and Queens with 591 units. The most expensive was a 127-unit apartment building that sold for $18.5 million.

New to the Market: The highest price for a residential property hitting the market was $8.3 million for a 1,686-square-foot condominium at 80 Columbus Circle in Lincoln Square. Annie Cion Gruenberger and Kate Wollman-Mahan of Coldwell Banker Warburg have the listing. 

Breaking Ground: The largest new building application filed was for a 20,272-square-foot, six-story residential building at 308 East 162nd Street in Concourse Village. Fernando Geremia of Fred Geremia Architects & Planners filed the permit. — Matthew Elo

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